Sunday, August 17, 2014

Trying to Stay Organized

Yesterday we had a garage sale. It was the first time we'd done this in several years, so we had lots to sell. The real goal wasn't to make money but to clear the clutter and regain some much needed space. So we got rid of things we didn't need, want or use anymore (VCR tapes, record albums, a tandem bicycle that my son and husband had fixed up and returned to its former glory, older DVD players, household items we were no longer using, used tennis balls, an office chair and a host of other items).

The stories that arose from the sale are almost better than actually selling things. There was the man who was grateful to find a microphone stand because he had left his behind at a gig, the woman who bought over 100 empty DVD cases for her church, the man who took every album out of its sleeve before choosing a number of them and who thanked us for taking such good care of our record collection, the man who bought a number of items and then asked us not to put them in bags because if we did, his wife would know that he had been to a garage sale. It's always a tiring day, I end up with dusty hands and a lot of cleanup at the end, but it's also a unique and interesting experience. Most of what was left can either be recycled or donated, and since we sell things very cheaply, we like to think that the people buying go home with bargains. Items we no longer used will find a new life in someone else's house.

And now I have room to organize my house a bit better. I love organizing. That's why this video by Casey Neistat about one of his own methods of organizing small items resonated with me. I don't have any red boxes (although I'd love to have some). But, of course, I have my own methods of keeping track of things. I'm sure you do, too.

Have a fantastic day!



Laney4 said...

Congrats on getting ready for the garage sale, standing on your feet all day, and then sorting everything to lug elsewhere afterward. It is no easy feat.
I know because I have organized yard sales on our street every year for the past 28 years now. Usually between 6 and 13 houses on our street participate every year (out of 22). Because I organize it, I hold a sale every single year, oftentimes having others participate with me too.
Several friends donate their "good will" items to me throughout the year, saying for me to keep whatever I can get out of it and then donate what remains. Last year, we got rid of tons of stuff, boxed up 17 boxes for good will (which I held onto until they offered a 30% off coupon a month later, which I just used, saving me over $10 in items I can use, including used books), and then brought I think it was 11 boxes back into the house to try to sell next year. I'm sure we'll have lots more to sell by next year's sale date, what with my friends' help and me sorting through things here in the meantime.
I don't have red boxes, but I DO use large Rubbermaid totes in my crawl space - for areas "labeled" as Christmas, wrapping paper/bags/tissue paper, things I don't use now but may use later (which may get used but may get sold in a future yard sale instead), grandkid toys/books, and my son's computer parts storage. I also have areas for empty boxes, and a long area for household items like paper towels, detergents, toilet paper, tissues, etc. - all on top of pallets in case of water flooding (which has never happened in 30 years of living here, but there's always a first time).
I use totes upstairs for my income tax records (10 years re self-employed), binders for maintenance manuals and receipts, binders for insurances and investments, linen closet shelves for extra bathroom items and presents bought on sale and stored until necessary, dresser drawers to hide my mending pile (organized by colour, of course), lateral filing cabinet and tall shelving unit in my office for scrapbooking supplies, and the list goes on and on (somewhat like I am right now, LOL).
Congrats on a job well done, Myrna!

Mary Preston said...

I tend to be very organised. I could lay my hand on anything in the dark.

Garage sales are a great way to do a big clean out. We had one about a year ago & the rest I sold on a free buy/sell site here in Australia. I was determined that nothing was going back into a cupboard.

Laney4 said...

That's great, Mary! I keep saying I'm going to sell bigger-ticket items online (we have Kijiji here in Canada, where people can buy from you face-to-face so no S&H charges), but first I have to figure out how to post pictures from my camera online! I listed my yard sale on that site, but no picture was required, so it can't be that difficult (even for me!).

Myrna Mackenzie said...

Laney4 and Mary, selling on a free/buy site does make sense (we have Craigslist here). I totally agree about not wanting to put anything back in a cupboard. In fact, I was so inspired by the clutter cleaning that I reorganized my kitchen cabinets today,too (and that had nothing to do with the sale. I was just in that cleaning mood).